The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety exposed several systematic issues, most notably understaffing within the Aged Care industry, and the complications associated with this. The staff-to-resident ratio is of primary concern, with aged care residents currently receiving 2.5 hours of care each day, where this figure should reflect 4.3 hours.
With the Royal Commission unearthing cases of misconduct, neglect and malpractice, inadequacy in staffing levels require service employees to work arduous hours and divide the scarcity of time between many residents.
Staff, in particular nurses, consistently report that they experience considerable difficultly in providing substantial and consistently excellent quality care to their patients. Research conducted by the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation found that individuals living in residential aged care need an average of 4.3 hours of care per day as stated above, which is close to double the current hours of care provided.
Further data published by the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation provides that the ideal composition of staff in Aged Care facilities comprise 30% Registered Nurses, 20% Enrolled Nurses, and 70% Personal Care Workers.
Why aren’t their adequate levels of staff in the Aged Care Industry?
- In Australia, there is currently no mandate on staffing ratios of registered nurses in aged care. This is extremely pertinent as ratios assist in establishing a safe minimum standard of staffing, and provides assistance in ensuring that adequate and acceptable quality care is being delivered continuously to patients.
- There is a continuously increasing shortage of qualified carers and registered nurses working in Aged Care. Strenuous working conditions, stigmatic perceptions pertaining to the Aged Care environment, and notably low salaries drive down interest and commitment within care service roles.
- The Australian Government has substantially reduced funding from Aged Care, resulting in facilities possessing less available resources to maintain satisfactory staffing levels.
In such a difficult industry, Aged Care providers need assistance with recruitment, human resources and strong advice in regards to staff management. CIRCLE Recruitment & HR have been leaders in this space for many years and can assist you with your organisation, either as a supplement to your own in-house teams, through outsourcing and as a strong advice mechanism, skilled in your industry and with the right level of experience and know-how.
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